India: death of the Flying Sikh Milkha Singh, one of the most famous sportsmen of the country
Steph Deschamps / June 19, 2021
Milkha Singh, one of the most famous sportsmen of India, champion of athletics nicknamed the Flying Sikh died of Covid-19 at the age of 91 years, announced Friday Indian media.
We have lost a colossus of sport, who had captured the imagination of the nation and held a special place in the hearts of countless Indians, reacted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on social media.
Dad has just passed away, Jeev Milkha Singh, son of the deceased and an internationally renowned golfer, told the Indian Express newspaper.
Milkha Singh had tested positive for coronavirus on May 20. His wife also died of the disease, according to the newspaper.
Born in 1929 in Govindpura, which later became Pakistani territory, he lost his entire family during the partition of the country between India and Pakistan at the time of independence in 1947. He came fourth in the Rome Olympics in 1960 in the 400m, with a time of 45.73 seconds, an Indian record that stood for almost forty years.
However, he never managed to win an Olympic medal.
However, his exploits have inspired the cinema of his country with a film released in 2013: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (Run, Milkha, run). A reference to the last words of his father who enjoined him to flee otherwise he could be killed -as he was- in the riots generated by the partition.